The Holocaust, which literally means “Consumed by Fire”, is a term referring to the mass murder of six million Jewish men, women and children and five million non-Jewish men, women and children by Nazi Germany during World War II. This period of history should always be remembered, studied and explored by new generations. But how can one comprehend the tragedy of the Holocaust? It embraces the stories of millions of individuals and how their simple everyday lives were shattered and never completely restored. Only by getting to know personal stories can one begin to understand what the Holocaust was.
This curriculum teachs high school students about the Holocaust through the book Hanna and Walter: A Love Story, a personal account of a man and a woman who survived. Your students will hear from these survivors about their carefree lives as teenagers before the Holocaust. Then they wil l accompany Hanna and Walter step by step as their lives change and are shattered during World War II.
By getting to know the characters, their friends and family, your students will be able to identify with them and experience the story in a way that will allow them to understand the meaning of the Holocaust. Your students will be involved in discussions, simulations, creative writing, and art projects, and they will make a personal journal using copies of real artifacts depicting scenes from the story. By doing this they will be able to explore not only the personal story of Hanna and Walter, but also the general history of World War II and the Holocaust.
Using this Curriculum
- The curriculum offers individual lesson plans, each based on a chapter in Hanna and Walter: A Love Story. (It is highly recommended that you read the entire book before teaching it.)
- Each lesson plan includes: goals and objectives, materials need to teach the lesson, and page numbers for reading assignments in the book.
- Most of the lesson plans include reading from the book. It is specified when it is recommended to read aloud in the class and when it is recommended to read silently. Depending on the amount of time you have with your class, you may choose to have the students read the chapters at home prior to class.
- Some lessons require additional written materials or answers to questions. These are included on a Teacher Resource Page at the end of the lesson.
- This is our suggested curriculum for teaching the book Hanna and Walter — A Love Story, but you should not feel confined by it. You may find that some lessons are more suited to your students than others, and that some issues require further elaboration. It is for your use and we hope you will find it helpful in teaching your students about the Holocaust.
The curriculum is now available for purchase. Please send an email to VOGCharity [at] VOGcharity [dot] org.
Cost. $50.00 for the Curriculum and a copy of Hanna & Walter, A Love Story.
Read also in German language at "Voices of the Generations"